Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Classroom: The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet-Epic Kid by Robin Mellom

The Classroom: The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet-Epic Kid
By Robin Mellom
Published by Disney-Hyperion, June 19, 2012
288 pages (hardback)
Source: NetGalley

A documentary crew has descended upon Westside Middle School to detail the life of an average seventh grader and his classmates. What they uncover, though, is far from average. Mostly, it is upper average along with moments of extreme average, highlighted by several minutes of total epicness.

Trevor Jones has been preparing for the start of seventh grade his entire summer. But he is NOT ready for the news his best friend, Libby, drops on him at the bus stop: he needs to branch out and make new friends. Oh, and he must ask a girl to the fall dance. By the end of the day.

Trevor decides that he would rather squirt hot sauce in his eyes than attend the dance. Everything changes, though, when he meets mysterious new student Molly. Trevor starts to think that going to the dance
maybe wouldn't be the worst thing ever. But with detention-wielding teachers, school gossips, and, worst of all, eighth graders conspiring against him, Trevor will have to do the one thing he wasn't prepared to do: be epic. (from NetGalley)

I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to adding it to the library’s collection. This is a story of mishaps, awkward encounters, fear of new schools (and bigger kids), change, friendships, and what happens when you really try to do the right thing. The Classroom: The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet-Epic Kid is told from the point of view of several different characters so it can be difficult to transition back and forth, but each character is distinct and different so it doesn’t take figure it out.

Of course I liked that there was a mix of narrative and pictures because it breaks up the text and helps one visualize that is going on (and some of the pictures are silly so it is a nice addition). However, what I liked most of all in this book that, all in all, it was positive. Sure, the characters have conflicts and there is a bully, but it would be pointless to write a book with no conflict. However, instead of the wimpy main character always getting picked on and people being really mean to each other, things do go right for Trevor (sometimes, and not like he wants/expects it). And the end of the story gives you hope that things CAN go right at school even when it seems like nothing will ever go your way.

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